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Now the breeze is northerly. The branches sway at the change in direction and Birch leaves rain gently down on the garden with every gust. The village lanes are strewn with the leaves of Sycamore. Hazel and Wych Elm. The Field Maples, which have taken on a glowing chrome yellow, are slowly losing their fight to keep their leaves. On the railway line the Poplars are already bare, their wind note has changed in pitch and the sweet smell of leaf decay scents the air.

As I stack wood – the most Autumnal of tasks – a ragged skein of geese head towards the coast; at least one hundred strong. I watch and listen for a minute or two. The cut logs give off their scent of sap and resin. Indoors, the plaintive notes of French Horn from a Britten Pastoral adds to the Autumnal feel.

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Changed views

November 1, 2013

The landscape of the parish continues to evolve. The felling of a plantation of Bryant & May Poplars at Oxnead during the last few months appeared drastic at first sight. But when such moves are planned, on this occasion within a conservation Stewardship scheme, they are to be welcomed. The site will be returned to grazing meadow. The impact is most felt in the opening up of the vista – viewed from the west the raised route of the River Bure has become more marked, a glimpse of the grounds of the Hall and the revealing of the ditches which once served the Paston’s stew ponds are apparent. Perhaps we can imagine the opening up of at least part of the Deer Park which once surrounded the wider site of Oxnead Hall. The Deer park itself can be traced as a ghosts of the field boundaries that remain towards Buxton, that is if you ignore the scar of the nineteenth century railway lines and later boundary changes.